Friday, January 19, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Little Cook

6"x6" oil
Everyone should daily have someone who looks over the shoulder and smiles adoringly at them.  Would the world not be a better place?  This little one should get the prize for a winning smile.  That is what caught my attention and made me want to paint it.  I hope looking at it makes you want to smile!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Sunflower Sunset

4'x6' acrylic
Right before I had shoulder replacement surgery I started this painting.  I usually do tiny little paintings but I chose to do this one 4'x6'.  I wanted to have something momentous to work on with my left arm as my right shoulder recuperated (I finished it with my dominant arm).  I had been requested to paint sunflowers so the decisions for this painting started with that.  Then I decided it would be about patterns and I wouldn't obsess about details.  I wanted to include the green mountains which I painted green (clever, aren't I?).  I wanted a dramatic sunset so I could get some purple into the sky and also repeat the yellows and oranges.  It is simple and really a fun and lovely painting so I am happy with it, but I am even more happy that the recipient is thrilled with it.  It met her criteria and expectations.  It is an honor and a privilege to be able to spend my time making others happy while I am doing what fulfills me.  I don't have to be brilliant or clever or perfect....I just have to keep trying, keep learning and pay attention.  The paying attention part is really important....but that is another story...Go Figure!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - Memories of Joan

Our family got really exciting and happy news this week.  We also got really sad news.  We were and still are, on an emotional merry-go-round.  The painting above is one I did from memory of my backyard. It reminds me however of my mother-in-law, from my first marriage,  who passed away.  She lived on a beautiful piece of property in Michigan and loved to be out in the woods or on the pond more than anything.  I am inserting a wonderfully written and heart felt response one of her granddaughters, Claire Wood,  posted on Facebook. 

"My grandma, Joan Davis, passed away this weekend. She was the strongest person I have ever known. I have been writing down my memories of her because I don’t want to ever forget how unique she was.
As a young girl during the depression, she owned two dresses and slept on the porch of a two-room cabin. She and her siblings canoed across a lake to get to a one-room schoolhouse each day. She learned to forage for berries and other edible plants from her mother, something she did her whole life. I will always remember when she made watercress sandwiches straight from her creek.
She loved learning. She graduated from school early and went on to college at 15 or 16, rare for a woman in those days. She became a teacher and later a school psychologist.
She raised six children, on her own part of the time. She went through her share of hard times in life, but she was resilient and a survivor. She lived alone on 80 acres for 40+ years, chopping her own wood well into her eighties. She savored her solitude, and loved nothing more than spending all day outside in the woods."

Friday, January 5, 2018

Figuratively Speaking - The Swimmer

                                                               To Purchase Go HereIt seems like almost the whole country is in a deep freeze.  The definition of that depends on what is "normal" for you in your local.  One of my sisters is keeping the towels close by her heated outdoor pool for the unusually cold weather.  Another sister drove to her swim club in a crisp -6˚ morning.  That seemed pretty surreal to her.  One thing you can tell from this post is that I have sisters (several more) and we like to swim.  Swimming is big in my family.  My nephew is currently undergoing the intensely rigorous Coast Guard Rescue Swim program in North Carolina.  He is about half way through and his original class of 16 has dropped to 3. His brother is working hard at OSU and a big part of that is his swimming.  He is an Olympic qualifier and has broken numerous records at the school.  My mom instilled a love for swimming in us and she continued to swim almost to the end of her life.  She was an artist too, but that is another subject.  I hope you are staying warm and enjoying the things you love to do.  Thanks for putting up with my bragging...Go Figure!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - A Snowy Day

We drove to the far north (2 hours away) this morning and the thought crossed my mind that there were a lot of cars on the road this Saturday morning and where could all these people be racing to on a Saturday morning when it was -6 degrees and the high would only reach +4.  I could only partially answer my own question.  We were on our way to our granddaughter's sixth birthday party.  A very good excuse, I would say to myself, for leaving our cozy home and fire to drive 2 hours each way.  The thing about getting out and driving is that it inevitably changes your perspective.  I know that Vermont is beautiful but today seeing it with the snow laden pine trees and the brilliant white peaks catching the morning light I just felt so renewed and blessed even as I looked at the frigid temperature displayed one the dashboard.  It was like seeing it for the first time.  I am normally not fond of chaotic kids birthday parties, but this one was a lot of fun.  The kids were really well behaved and the star of the party handled all the attention with grace and generosity.  There wasn't any squealing until the last few minutes which was particularly surprising as there were a lot of six year old girls there chasing each other around the house.  On the way home it started to snow and the sun got very hazy and almost orange casting warmth over the snow and emphasizing the blue shadows.  It warmed my heart and reminded me that my spirit needed that kind of warmth to go along with the mittens, scarf, boots, leg warmers and down jacket.  Go Figure!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - The View From My Studio

My first memory....stop me if I have already told this first memory is a blur of moving colors.  Somehow that makes sense for a future artist.  I knew for a long time that this was my first memory, but I couldn't make any sense of it until I was an adult and was skiing.  I suddenly realized that the memory was tied to a real experience, that being the first time I went sledding.  If you have no point of reference for an experience, and no words to describe it, it sticks with you as a sensory image.  I think I will paint that memory...the way I remember it, as a blur of colors...Go Figure!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Irish Walk

I learned some new words today.  I hope I can get to use them in a Scrabble game someday.  My sister-in-law is a world class Scrabble player.  There is no hope in beating her as she has memorized the entire Scrabble dictionary, but the game with her is always fun.  My friend Jean Paulsen is also an avid player and when I have the opportunity, my daughter, the genius and beautiful Ruthann, is fun to play games with.  We have been known to fall into uncontrollable giggles bordering on hysterics.  That doesn't happen often as she lives in the northwest and I in the northeast.  Her winters resemble the image above.  My winters are snowy and brrrrrrr.  So, my new words are fridgiculous and frigorific which is the weather we are experiencing now.  I am hoping this is the coldest blast of the winter, but it probably won't be. Go Figure!
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